from Sweden

 

We’re far north right now in Abisko, (Sweden). Today we caught a once per day snow cat ride for 1hr high into the mountains near the  Laktatjakta station to upski for a few hours before skiing back down.  Winds have been W to S. and while we were out today started at 20mph sustained but had increased to 35mph average with 50mph max gust.  also the air is thicker (we are at 600-1400m) thus- quite powered. This thick air and strong wind will teach us a few new things I’m quite sure.
Temperature have been -2 to +4 deg C… quite warmer than average.  Snow conditions are un-breakable crust, which the locals describe as unusually bad. However the cat/snowmobile track through the mountains leaves a good path of softer groomed snow  for travel.
Between signposts, rock outcroppings, fast hard snow, and strong wind conditions were quite technical. I quickly climbed ~500′ to the summit ridge above the station in 5 minutes. Megan & Classe were more challenged to maneuver the terrain at such speed and did not climb so high.
We will spend one more day here before heading south to a different region. The mountains and enviroment are beautiful and rightfully so as we are ~140miles north of the Arctic Circle (68deg N). Abisko is an interesting tourist village defined by internationals coming to see the northern lights, and Swedish coming for the few dozen ski lifts & piste areas. I am worried that we will experience days with poor visibility that will keep us out of the high mountains. But, so far it has been good , the terrain possibilities here are very exciting and it appears the winds will continue.  UpSki Sweden 11 UpSki Sweden 12 UpSki Sweden 13 UpSki Sweden 16 UpSki Sweden 15 UpSki Sweden 14

 

 

Feb 22nd… where did January go?

We’ve taken a long break from being online. And rightfully so – it has been a super busy last few months.  Since the holidays, orders have picked up and we’ve been busy in the shop getting product out the door… And of course skiing! We’ve had excellent conditions in Colorado thus far.  We are solidly above average snowpack, currently at 115% – 130% which makes both for great skiing now, but also the promise of a long spring season.  Lets hope it keeps coming.

up high in great weather

up high in great weather

ripping turns

ripping turns

5 steps out the cabin door & launch!

5 steps out the cabin door & launch!

Ahh Marble... where anything goes!

relaxing on the porch of Uncle Buds Hut

relaxing on the porch of Uncle Buds Hut

skinning below treeline
skinning below treeline
nothing quite like getting high in the rocky mountains!

nothing quite like getting high in the rocky mountains!

Final hours on Kickstarter…

Its 6pm on thursday… Its been a fast month since we launched our kickstarter project on Nov 21st.   Out deadline is 10:30pm tonight and still need to raise the final $1000 to reach our goal.  It could still go either way, and we’re working hard to tow the line.

Big thanks to everyone for your support!!

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/upskisnow/upski-experience-wind-mountaineering

Additional commentary can be found in the kickstarter updates… we’ll keep this short here and now.

UpSki Experience

Back home after 2 weeks on the road UpSkiing in Wyoming & Colorado. This is the best early season we’ve had in years. Do you think its going to keep coming all season long?? we do!  This post is the continuation of our extended descriptions of our rewards for kickstarter.  This is our final week- and we need your support before Dec 19th- so support us today!

The UpSki Experience:  We want you to come out and experience the power of the wind- experience the raw force of 200sqft of sail area pulling you up a slope, then being able to turn around and make turns back down. No lifts, no ticket, no skins, no fuss, no crowds! We spend our time in scenic terrain high in the mountains. Above treeline- the views are magnificent and landscape dramatic.

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On a typical day- we are able to ascend and ski thousands of feet, enjoy a hot drink, and take in the remote and wild that the mountains offer.  In the backcountry- we seek out terrain with good untracked snow and low avalanche hazard.  When conditions are right- we can ascend in excess of 3000ft per hour right to the tops of peaks.  in terms of ground speed- generally we travel between 4-30mph.  How fast we go depends upon wind speed, snow conditions, slope angle, and rider weight.

We travel in small groups (rarely more than 4 people) so as not to ruin the wilderness experience.  When going out with our friends who are beginner or novice skiers- we find easy terrain- such as lakes and valleys below treeline where they can develop their skiing and UpSkiing skills at the same time.  When winds are strong we tow newbies so that they can focus exclusively on their skiing skills.

We are not dictated by specific closure times like at a resort- but instead UpSki as long as the wind is good and our legs are still strong.  This means we often are out on the snow making laps until sunset.

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Most of us ski in the backcountry because we are looking for new ways to embrace nature.  Many want the challenge and adventure of something new.  Embracing the wind is the wave of the future! On a windy- the power of the UpSki is irresitable.  For those with who have gained advanced UpSkiing skiils- the leading edge of the sport is in finding ways to ascend complex & technical slopes and finding routes to the summits of peaks not yet ascended with the power of the wind. This is a large & vast new frontier- most of the peaks around the world have been ascended by traditional climbing means- but very few summits have been reached using the power of the wind.  We intend to change that!

We have multiple backer rewards listed both for specific date(s) and non-specific “Floater” days $160 for a single day, $280 for two consecutive days. As the season progresses send out emails as we plan more days of UpSkiing. If we get skunked(no wind) you are always welcome to try again and join us a second time

Back our campaign on KickStarter for $160 and help us reach or goal of 11,200 and we’ll  create new UpSki equipment- and look forward to going UpSkiing with you this winter!!

DSC_0855(Photos from Dec 2013 on Red Mountain Pass, CO)

 

ExtraHuge bags for XtraCycles

More on Rewards for our KickStarter project:  UpSki Extrahuge bags for for XtraCycles (.com)

UpSki XtraCycle Big Dummy

Some background info:  an Xtracycle is a bicycle add-on which extends the length of a standard bike (typically a 26″ hard-tail bike – ie. your old mountain bike). An Xtracycle with UpSki bags can expand your rear wheel carrying capacity from 40 Liters to well over 100 liters… just in the bags. It can also provide seating for multiple children and/or your hot date!  Check out The Family Ride’s review of our bags at:  http://www.thefamilyride.com/upski-extrahuge-bags/

While Wind Mountaineering may seem hardcore… it pales compared to bike touring thousands of miles across the Rocky Mountains with 3 children age 10 & under and a HUGE dog… yes- this family is the real deal!!!  Read about their journey on TheFamilyRide.com

We’ve sold many of these bags..and not just in the USA!  Tony A. our quality inspector gives these two thumbs up! These bags are a steal at $250 shipped on our kickstarter campaign through Dec 19th! AND… we really need this money to fund our demo equipment for UpSkiing!! Color choices currently in production:

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T-Shirts

Our first round of shirts came in today and they look even better than expected. Right now we have mens sizes S,M,L,XL.  If this isn’t your size, get your order in before Dec 19th so we can order different sizes and women’s cuts as needed. They are poly/cotton blend and feel great to wear.  Show some UpSki pride and pony up in for one on our project!

UpSki Shirts

Just back from a few beers at our local brewery, ran into Garret and we had a little ‘bro’ moment. Find him sporting his new shirt down in the San Juans where he works at the Durango Cyclery.

other notes- there is a lot of snow out there right now, and its skiing great- make sure and take advantage of this early season!… it is also sliding, so check with CAIC and act with caution around avalanche terrain.

Kickstarter Rewards: Stickers

Over the next 3 weeks we are going to dedicate a post to each of the Kickstarter Rewards we have to offer.

Starting with our stickers:

UpSki Stickers

They are 4″x4″ and will look great on your water bottle, skis, snowboard, car, or bike. Field tested: yes, we printed our first batch last year and they’re holding up great! We’ll be getting more in soon. The artwork comes from another epic day of UpSkiing in the Colorado Backcountry on steep slopes. Big thanks to Cienega S. for designing them for us.  Check out her current project:  http://moltenroots.com/

… And don’t forget to support our our KickStarter project!  http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/upskisnow/upski-experience-wind-mountaineering

UpSki now on Kickstarter

Kickstarter

We’ve just launched a kickstarter project.  Check it out at:

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/upskisnow/upski-experience-wind-mountaineering

This will run through Dec 19th. Our goal is to raise $11,200 to fund new demo equipment.  By contributing to our project, you’ll have the opportunity to come and experience UpSki!  For rewards, we also have T-Shirts, bike bags, a limited supply of UpSkis at special discounted pricing, and more.

Stay tuned as we announce info, event dates & more.  Tell your friends, and please support us!!